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Exceptions to the language skills requirement

When can an exception to the language skills requirement be made?

As a principle, you can only become a Finnish citizen if you meet the language skills requirement. Exceptions to the language skills requirement can be made but this only happens in very rare cases.

Therefore, before requesting an exception to the language skills requirement, you should find out if you are able to learn the necessary language skills after all.

Each exception is considered individually

When applicants request that we grant them an exception to the language skills requirement, we assess each request individually. There has to be sufficient grounds as defined by law before an exception can be made.

When your application is being processed, the assessment takes into account all the information the Finnish Immigration Service has about you. We for example have access to all the information and certificates you have submitted about your health or literacy when you have applied for a residence permit in Finland.

Risks associated with requesting an exception

Please note that the application fee will not be returned to you if the decision on your citizenship application is negative. The fee will also not be returned if you decide to withdraw your application.

If you are clearly applying for an exception without acceptable grounds, you may receive a negative decision on your citizenship application rather quickly.

On the other hand, if an exception is possible in your case, the processing of your application may take longer than usual, as it is likely that the Finnish Immigration Service will have to ask you for additional information.

According to law, exceptions to the language skills requirement can be granted if:

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